Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Woman Behind The Man – Page 7 – Part 1

In this next piece we see a woman who very much realizes the work she does and wants a voice about it. I can’t help but think this is true or this particular work wouldn’t have been selected to grace the pages of her book. I don’t know who wrote it, no credit is given, but she had a bone to pick. It’s idealistic but speaks to the hardships of women, while diminishing the efforts of men. I think her life must have been a difficult one, without much help or acknowledgment from her husband and Chastena must have shared her sentiment. Of course, it’s also possible that a man wrote this and saw the struggles women went through.
I’ve researched this poem and can find no copies of it or mention of it but the saying is certainly famous. Did that saying come from this long-lost poem? This makes it even more important to save. I realize the book, and blog, have become a preservation project not only for my grandmothers and my children, but for the public. Many of these works might be lost forever if not for people who cut them out and kept them back in the day.

The Woman Behind The Man
I’ve been a readin’ these months past
‘Bout a man behind a hoe:
An’ a man behind a grip-sack
With lots o’ snap an’ go!
Then the man behind the engine,
An’ a man behind the ball,
But one soul hain’t been mentioned
That you bet can beat ‘em all.
Right a gettin’ down to bedrock,
If it hadn’t been for Eve
All the hoeing Adam ever’d done
You could put it right up your sleeve.
An’ I guess that poor old Noah
Wouldn’t thought it very fine
To hoe around his grapes all day,
An’ mosey out to dine.
A’ then a comin’ right on down
To this ‘ere time o’ ourn,
You’d find the men a sorry lot,
Without their right-hand-bowers!
Who is it gets up with the lark
An’ cooks an’ scrubs an’ cleans,
While way out ‘near the spreadin’ oak
Her man rest on his jeans?
His work can wait, but her’s cannot,
And while he hoes the corn,
She does a hundred different things
An’ at 12 she blows the horn.
An’ when at night the hoin’s is done
An’ lays down to rest,
Who is it tired and weary-worn,
Lulls the baby on her breast?
An sews, a talkin’ low to Tom
How he must sleep, an’ grow
To be a big, strong boy right soon,
So he can help paw hoe.
An’ if perchance his country calls,
The man drops his hoe to go,
Who is it then picks up the tool
An’ finishes out the row?
An’ when, all battle-scarred and maimed,
He comes back, one arm gone,
Who is it hopes an’ sings an’ prays,
A hoeing right along?
Ah! talk about your boys an’ men
An’ praise ‘em all yer can,
But remember, the man’s behind the hoe
An’ the woman’s behind the man!
©Copyright 2010


  1. That song / verse is ever so good And I think it's the same, more or less, to this day.

  2. I love it Robynn, it's so true!
    Love Di ♥